Toward fostering resilience on a large scale: Connecting communities of caregivers

Suniya S. Luthar, Nina L. Kumar, Renee Benoit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In interventions for at-risk children, Tom Dishion strongly exhorted programs that are short term, cost-effective, and delivered in families' own communities, just as resilience researchers underscore the need for programs that provide ongoing support for children's primary caregivers, and are implementable on a large scale. Presented here are preliminary results on a short-term intervention for mothers, the Authentic Connections Virtual Groups. A previous randomized trial of the in-person version of this program, conducted with mothers at high risk for stress and burnout, showed significant benefits. There had been zero dropouts across the 3-month program, and participants showed significant improvements on psychological indices as well as cortisol, even 3 months after the program ended. In the present study, virtual groups were conducted with five sets of women, all white-collar professionals with highly stressful, exacting careers, and most also primary caregivers of their children. Again, there were zero dropouts. Mean satisfaction ratings were 9.6 of 10, and the Net Promoter Score (promoters vs. detractors) fell in the world class range. To illuminate mechanisms of change, participants' responses to open-ended questions on the groups' value are presented verbatim. Recurrently mentioned were the development of new, authentic connections and invaluable ongoing support. These results, with the low costs and ease of women's attendance, attest to the value of expanding offerings such as these, toward benefiting even more highly stressed mothers themselves as well as the children for whose care they are responsible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1813-1825
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
  • mothers
  • prevention
  • resilience
  • social support
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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